Labour drops two points to the Lib Dems
The February ICM survey for the Guardian, which was one of the key points in the PB.C prediction competition, has CON 37%(nc): LAB 34%(-2): LD 21%(+2).
So the Conservative lead over Labour returns to where it was at the start of the year and the Lib Dems go back to the share they had before Charles Kennedy resigned.
What seems to be happening is that the Tories have moved up 4-5 points in almost all the polls under their new leader and this is being sustained. The actual position in relation to Labour is determined by how the aggregate Lab-Lib Dem total splits. This is a solid 54-55% and if the Lib Dems are up then the Tory lead is greater and if it is down then Labour is in the lead.
The next poll should be the February YouGov survey for the Daily Telegraph. In recent months the internet pollster has recorded much lower Lib Dem shares than ICM. Thus in the last survey the Tories were on 37% – the same as today’s ICM figure – but the Lib Dem were down at 15% resulting in a Labour share of 39%.
The General Election betting, which we have not looked at for a while, has Labour at 0.91/1, and the Tories at 1.12/1.
The 2006 PBC competion entries are listed here.